The ACU football team’s schedule is set for their inaugural Division I season in 2013 as an independent team.
Since ACU is not able to play a Southland Conference football schedule until 2014, the athletic department had to fill an entire schedule of games instead of a couple of non-conference games to start the season as usual.
“I think one of the best things we have done is our scheduling,” head coach Ken Collums said. “I work for some pretty smart guys, and those guys put together a full schedule from zero. They communicated with me on all these games. We know there are going to be tough waters, but we are going to go trade blows with all of these teams.”
The Wildcats will play 11 games in 2013, headlined by an October trip to New Mexico to take on the New Mexico State Lobos.
New Mexico State is a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision, meaning that they play at college football’s highest level.
“We are going to be playing against a team that numbers wise as far as scholarships will have us outmatched,” Collums said. “We will have to show up and play really well to have a chance to win the game. If we are healthy we should go in there and play well.”
With a venue such as New Mexico State, the Wildcats will be in unfamiliar territory, but the players are excited to play on such a large stage.
“I have been a part of some big games my previous school (Louisiana Tech),” Tight End Noah Chesier said. “The environment is awesome and fires me up. I believe everyone will need to bring their focus and their A game every game.”
ACU plays their first three games at home before hitting the road for seven of their last eight games spanning four states during their road trips.
Although ACU is moving up a division, they will face a couple of familiar foes in McMurry, Tarleton State, and a pair of matchups against Incarnate Word.
“When we got into this it was a monumental task just to get games,” Collums said. “Whether we will keep playing Tarleton or not in the future when we have a full Southland Conference schedule I don’t know. It has been a really good matchup in the past and should be again next year.”
Incarnate Word is also moving from the Lone Star Conference into the Southland Conference, meaning that the Wildcats and Cardinals will be seeing a lot of each other for years to come.
ACU will host the Cardinals in October before travelling to San Antonio three weeks later. Last season, The Wildcats beat the Cardinals 24-12 and former ACU quarterback Mitchell Gale broke the Lone Star Conference passing record.
The Wildcats open the season August 31st against Concordia College at 7 p.m. in Shotwell Stadium.